Methodios I, Patriarch of Constantinople : churchman, politician and confessor for the faith
The chapter concerning the life and times of Methodios, Patriarch of Constantinople, begins with a summary of the history of the iconoclastic controversy. This provides the background for a review of Methodios' vita. A native of Syracuse in Sicily, he became a central figure in the victory of the Iconoduies over the forces of iconoclasm. Methodios was the Patriarch of Constantinople (843 - 847).The Triumph of Orthodoxy, over which Methodios presided, commemorated the victory of icon supporters. The Sunday of Orthodoxy services are examined and the Synodicon's content is analysed. The third chapter discusses the consequences of the restoration of images. This period of stabilisation and strengthening of the Church was, nonetheless, fraught with turmoil and controversy. The re-integration of the former Iconoclasts and a schism from the Studite monks were two serious challenges the Patriarch faced during this time. The formation of Methodios' ecclesiology, his concept of the Church, including his sense of place in and responsibility for the Tradition of the Church were significant in his thinking. The synergy of Paradosis and Parakatatheki is explored and it will be shown that Methodios considered himself accountable to God for his ecclesial trust. His literary works are catalogued and analysed. Some previously unpublished compositions are discussed. The categories of hagiographic, poetic and liturgical compositions are emphasised. This is undertaken to reveal Methodios, both the dedicated iconodule but more importantly, the man. Finally, conclusions and thoughts concerning the legacy of Patriarch Methodios within Orthodoxy and history are offered.